BELVIDERE (WREX) - An explosion sends shock waves through Belvidere and kills a man with flying debris.
It happened around 2:30 p.m. NDK America, 701 Crystal Parkway. That's just north of I-90 near the Oasis and not far from Belvidere High School.
Belvidere Fire Chief Dave Worrell says a pressure chamber gave way. The chamber was pressurized to 27,000 p.s.i., he said, and used to make synthetic crystals for computers.
Nobody inside the plant was injured. A woman outside the plant was sent flying, Worrell said, but was treated at the scene and released.
Dead is Ronald Greenfield, 63, of Chesterton, Ind. Greenfield was pumping fuel at the northern pumps of the Belvidere Oasis, about 300 yards from the plant.
The Illinois Tollway Authority closed the westbound ramp to the Belvidere Oasis for emergency crews around 3:05 p.m. A helicopter was called in to help with the possible victims. That ramp was reopened by 4:30 p.m.
Several people who live nearby and in other parts of Belvidere say the explosion was powerful enough to rock their homes and knock things off their walls. The explosion was also felt at Belvidere High School which is nearby.
Worrell said the outside walls are designed with explosions in mind.
"Those panels are designed to blow outward from the building and they did that," he said.
Anthony Scotti of Belvidere was at the scene right after the blast and shot amateur video of the scene. You can watch his video by clicking the video link to the left of this story.
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